Smoking on greenway frustrates many park goers

Smoking on greenway frustrates many park goers

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 6:45 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 17 at 7:00 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Folks who exercise on a county greenway say they're fed up with smokers. 

Smokers gather by the dozens on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway near Carolinas Medical Center. 

Smoking is banned on the hospitals' campus and the greenway is just a couple of steps away from the campus.  

"I don't like it.  In fact, I've almost thought about avoiding the greenway because of that," said Charlotte resident Barbara Conrad. 

Smoking is allowed in Mecklenburg Parks and Greenways.  Smokers, like David Wasp, are sympathetic to people exercising on the greenway, but says he has no other place to go. 

Wasp was visiting his wife at CMC when NBC Charlotte caught up with him on the greenway. 

"You're here where you have a sick or injured family member and if you're smoker, that's your stress relief," he said. 

However, smoking in county parks and greenways could soon be a thing of the past.  According to Greg Clemmer, Park Operations Superintendent for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, the department is re-working their master plan. 

Part of the process is a survey, sent to 1,000 households, with a big question.  

"Pretty much is says how do you feel about tobacco products in Mecklenburg County Parks?," said Clemmer. 

He says depending on the answers they receive, smoking could end up banned in place like the Little Sugar Creek Greenway as early as next year.

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